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We love a sleeping bag masquerading as a puffer coat, but there's no need to give up on all style when the temperature drops. We tapped five buying experts from your favorite fashion companies to weigh in on the hottest winter trends. They detailed the newest in outerwear, strategic layering tips, items worth the investment, and more. Read on to see what women who are leading the vision at Nordstrom, MatchesFashion, Bloomingdale's, Browns, and Moda Opernadi have to say about what's hot when it's cold.
The majority of the buyers we sourced are investing in this trend, literally, because tailored pieces will last a lifetime. “More and more, I’m working toward an idea of a ‘forever wardrobe,' focusing on pieces that I absolutely love and know I will love for years to come,” says Natalie Kingham, the fashion and buying director at MatchesFashion. “Investing in winter essentials such as a pair of well-tailored wool trousers, chunky cashmere knits and a classic white shirt will be the sorts of pieces that last from season to season.” Ida Petersson, the buying director at Browns, agrees. “One of the biggest fashion trends for winter is tailoring. It’s a key investment not just for now, but it will carry you through to spring [and] summer.”
Kickstart this trend with a classic blazer. “The blazer [is] part of our daily uniform, and one of the hardest-working items in my personal wardrobe,” says Lisa Aiken, the fashion director of Moda Operandi. She suggests keeping the look modern with this simple trick: “A nice update for this season (and beyond) is cinching the waist with a belt. It’s the feminine approach [for those] who shy away from the traditional suit.”
“High-necks and puff sleeve blouses offer a romantic touch for the holidays with opulent [styles in] silk and florals,” says Marie Ivanoff-Smith, the fashion director of Nordstrom. Kingham highlights the fairytale details from the runways of Molly Goddard and Ann Demeulemeester. “We saw lots of designers showing a couture level detail on styles that seemed to draw references from fairytales with lots of detailed embroidery and voluminous tulle dresses,” Kingham says. She suggests styling feminine dresses with “a heavy combat boot to give a dark twist to a pretty look.” (I called it dressing up as a baby at their baptism, but same.)
Give your simple black coat a rest with this season's best in show: statement coats. All five buyers claim that loud outerwear is in, as seen at Marc Jacobs and Paco Rabanne. With animal prints, Kingham says she'll be styling them back with “a more muted look of black trousers and romantic pussy bow blouses.” Alternatively, go the distance with an extra long overcoat. “What I love is a chic almost floor length coat in bright colours and I have my eye on either Rave Review’s upcycled trench or Kenneth Ize’s amazing woven version with fringes,” says Petersson. For added warmth, get down with more insulation. Ivanoff-Smith says “a puffer in color, printed or faux leather is the perfect way to stay warm while making a statement. The key is to wear it layered over a feminine piece such as a dress or a skirt.” You can also take a spin on the updated trench, according to Aiken. “I don’t think I have ever met a trench I didn’t like. Personal bias aside, designers gave us a reason to fall in love with new iterations this season, evolving by way of leather or sheer options.”
But if you're looking for a quieter statement, trust Erica Russo, Bloomingdale’s vice president and fashion director. “I love an oversized sherpa silhouette like the ones from Max Mara in light camel, ivory or grey. It’s the ultimate investment piece that will elevate any look from yoga pants, to denim or dresses”
You don't have to tell us twice to wear a cozy sweater during winter, but Russo and Aiken encourage you to try a style that ventures into whimsy. “At Bloomingdale's we are loving chunky novelty knits,” says Russo. This season, experiment with bright colors, fringe, and modern silhouettes like v-shaped shoulders. Use this as a layering opportunity for thin knits ideal for layering. “In the past, we relied on a simple black or white turtleneck but designers are now giving the staple a decorative update,” says Aiken. “Printed mesh and fine intarsia knits add a graphic touch to a simple look; Style [them] under a slip or a wool trouser.”
“Tonal dressing is the styling trick adopted [from] the streets to play with warm, tonal shades [from] head-to-toe,” Aiken says. “It’s an incredibly thoughtful approach to dressing- looking at how your sweater matches your skirt, how this matches your boot. The effect is something that looks incredibly chic and elegant.” Ivanoff-Smith echoed the same sentiment. “We’re seeing the resurgence of the brown palette in rich, monochromatic looks and through prints like heritage checks.”
Still holding on to summer style? Consider the ease of a dress, but with thoughtful updates to accommodate the changing temps. “A midi length with long sleeves is perfect for transitional weather,” says Ivanoff-Smith. Look for heavy fabrics like brocade or velvet, jeweled tones, and longer sleeves to wear with tights and boots.